FFV in Pumas Rising

The reason is unknown

A study in the January 2020 Virus Evolution showed a remarkably high number of puma infected with feline foamy virus (FFV) in California, Colorado, and Florida. The prevalence in pumas exceeds that in domestic cats.

Feline foamy virus infection is largely asymptomatic in domestic cats, although many cats with FFV also have feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). FFV is common in older stray domestic cats.

According to JAVMA News, “Among domestic cats admitted to shelters because of nonowner surrender or that were involved in trap-neuter-return programs, the FFV seroprevalence (percentage of cats testing positive for FFV) was 75.0% in Southern California, 52.4% in Colorado, and 41.9% in Florida. Among pumas, the FFV seroprevalence was 69.1% in Southern California, 77.3% in Colorado, and 83.5% in Florida.”

The cause and the potential impact of FFV infection on the health of both wild and domestic cat populations are unknown.